The whole body . . . grows and builds itself up in love. Ephesians 4:16

Ephesians 4:4–16 is a great reference to read to connect with this post.

My youngest grandson is with me Monday - Thursday as a preschool student. He is the youngest student I have had regular and the smallest version of students I have had in upper grades. He is very strong-willed, and we work through many things.

As part of our schedule, he has recess time built into the program, so I give him choices daily on what he would like to do. The weather is still cold and does not allow us to go outside yet. We usually play a game together, or he will build something with Legos. However, he has chosen a movie to watch a few times. One of the movies he selected was The Croods.

The Croods is an animated caveman family, and they believe that the only way to survive is if the family “pack” stays together. They talk about the fears of discovering something “new” and the dangers of the world outside their cave.

When their cave is destroyed, they need to move on to find a different place for safety, and a new person is brought into their lives. They begin to learn, accept and understand through other interactions to embrace all of the situations to live life.

The Croods involves two movies now, and both are filled with understanding relationships and embracing change and differences. My grandson laughs and enjoys these movies a great deal. He will be facing a new place next year, Kindergarten and making new relationships. His educational journey in public school will begin.


Relationships can be risky in our lives—-people can and do hurt us. I think it is important to always talk about relationships and how to work to make them better. Having positive relationships takes work. My husband and I began dating in high school at the age of 16. I was engaged at 19, married at 20 and expecting our first child who was born when I was 21 years old. We will be married 38 years this year. We will both tell you, it took a great deal of work.


We were never to be alone in our journey through life. Each of us has a place, a purpose, and a reason. It is not always clear to us what it is, but it will be one day if you have not found it. We help each other by building up in love rather than tearing down. Surround yourself with those who stand, support, and believe in the way you do. When you have a support system like this, you learn from each other, mature and equip yourself to serve others.

Build up in love and find your relationships with those who build up the same way.

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Nothing is better than loving what you do and the people you are able to do it with each day! Make a point to start each day with finding the joy as a team. Gather around and share your joy as you drink up a cup full of love!

Working hard in leadership is not something someone asks you to do. Once you begin your leadership role, you already know hard work is what you do.

As a leader, you fall in love with what you do and the people you serve. Then you discover people you serve love what they do and you. It is a glorious feeling when these align. There is no stress because everyone is working hard for and with love.

Enthusiastically our passion shines bright with opportunities. Optimistically we know the value of what we do, but most importantly, the value of who we are and who receives our work. Our example to others will not be forgotten as we give the gift of love each day as we lead the way.

Lead with L.O.V.E. In February and every month of the year! Love what you do, Do what you Love! Be the Solution Daily in a world that needs you!

“O Come, All Ye Faithful" (originally written in Latin as "Adeste Fideles") is a Christmas carol that has been attributed to various authors, including John Francis Wade (1711–1786), John Reading (1645–1692), King John IV of Portugal (1604–1656), and anonymous Cistercian monks. The earliest printed version is in a book published by Wade.[1][2][3] A manuscript by Wade, dating to 1751, is held by Stonyhurst College in Lancashire.—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O_Come,_All_Ye_Faithful

The lyrics are at the end of the blog and contain the words that many saw as restoring. The controversy of the song when it appeared in the 1740s, composed by John Francis Wade as Adeste Fideles, helped Charles Edward Stuart, known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, a Catholic, to the British throne.


As we approach Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we look back to 1914 when the power of the song became extraordinary on these days as 100,000 British, Belgian, and French soldiers in the trenches on the Western Front laid down their arms to join the German soldiers in celebrating Christmas.

Christmas carols were being sung by one side, and then the other side would sing one of their carols. Then as O Come, All Ye Faithful began, everyone sang in their language together . The Germans sang the hymn in Latin words, Adeste Fideles.

In a terrible war, a few brief moments of peace stretched across 400 miles through France and Belgium. The echoes of songs of peace, hope, joy, and love brought blessings to the ears which could hear them. If only we could find in our hearts ways to listen to these messages long before we get to the point of the war, we would have no more.

The troubles of today can make us struggle and doubt. Through our faithfulness, we can find the light in the darkness to hold onto the strength we know we have been blessed with as we celebrate his birth. Gather together and hold onto the promise of understanding the blessings of Christmas.


O Come, All ye Faithful

O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant
O come ye, o come ye to Bethlehem
O come and behold Him, born the King of Angels

O come, let us adore Him
O come, let us adore Him
O come, let us adore Him
Christ the Lord

O come, all ye faithful
O come, all ye faithful
O come, all ye faithful to Bethlehem

O come, all ye faithful
O come, all ye faithful
O come, all ye faithful to Bethlehem

O sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation
O come, o come ye to Bethlehem
O come and behold Him, born the King of Angels

O come, let us adore Him
O come, let us adore Him
O come, let us adore Him
Christ the Lord

O come, all ye faithful
O come, all ye faithful
O come, all ye faithful to Bethlehem

O come, all ye faithful
O come, all ye faithful
O come, all ye faithful to Bethlehem

O come all ye
O come all ye faithful
O come all ye
O come all ye faithful

O come all ye
O come all ye faithful
O come all ye
O come all ye faithful

O come all ye
O come all ye faithful
O come all ye
O come all ye faithful

O come all ye
O come all ye faithful
O come all ye
O come all ye faithful

O come all ye faithful
O come all ye faithful
O come all ye faithful to Bethlehem

O come all ye faithful
O come all ye faithful
O come all ye faithful to Bethlehem

O come all ye faithful
O come all ye faithful
Born the King of Angels

O come, let us adore Him
O come, let us adore Him
O come, let us adore Him
Christ the Lord

O come all ye faithful
O come all ye faithful
O come all ye faithful to Bethlehem

Oh, the beautiful gifts, all wrapped with care with the perfect bow and tag to know where it goes. Well, the gifts I give are usually tucked in a gift bag with some tissue paper or wrapped with no pattern and so much tape! Wrapping gifts is not one of my talents. I am still working to find my hidden talent, and I know it will show up someday!

We had my husband's sibling's birthday and Christmas celebration this past week. Trying to get all the packages out in the pouring rain was a difficult job, and I was soaked by the time I got through the door. So no one cared about how the bags looked as they saw us all coming to the restaurant.


Reflecting on the previous year, it was the same table we were at, in the same restaurant, and doing the same thing only a week sooner than the year before. My mind flashed back for a moment or two as we approached the table, sitting down all of the gifts.

Last year I asked everyone to listen for a moment as I wanted to tell them something we had just been told. Now, before I share the news, I want to explain we will celebrate just the same.

The doctor called just an hour ago. My test results came in, and I had to be told. I have breast cancer, and I will see several doctors as soon as Christmas is over to determine treatments and the level of cancer I have.


This year we began with the birthday celebration of singing, opening gifts, eating dinner, and then Christmas gifts along with Birthday cake. Two of the gifts I have received so far are very thoughtful and meaningful as we continue to move forward with a new year ahead.

In January, I will complete a bone density test to see the progression of the harm to my bones with the current daily medication I take, and then a new mammogram with ultrasounds to look at the other mass to check for any changes. I am sure a biopsy will be part of the plan.

Currently, I am cancer free. It is the best way to be. I plan to stay this way—Celebrating on Christmas Day! I have rung the bell, I believe, and I know all things are possible with faith and prayer.

Look at these two beautiful gifts I received from my “sisters”-in-laws and one more still to come.

A cancer survivor bell ornament for my dinning room tree where all of our family and friends meet.
An angel ornament to remind me to Believe, her favorite and my favorite word to use especially at Christmas. Added to my little pencil tree in the dinning room.

Each day I wake with gratitude for the blessings of a new day. Life's journey continues with a path before me that I know will be full of opportunities, change, storms, celebrations, and faith-shaking moments. However, I know I can face all things with peace, love, hope, and joy from the devotions I read each day.

I admit life can get a little busy! I thought retirement would slow me down a little, as well as others thought it would! However, each day new things find their way into my day, and I make room, as I always do.

One of my favorite memories from my church growing up was picking up a copy of Our Daily Bread. I loved reading the stories with the scriptures and learning with so much meaning to me as it related to others. So I decided as an adult to subscribe and send donations to this beautiful publication.

As we are in the final week leading up to Christmas, I wanted to share this one with all of you as it captures all I wanted to convey in my words of Peace, Love, Hope, and Joy to all this Christmas Day and each day of the New Year. Blessings to all!

Our Daily Bread

The Bible has a lot to say about love. In John 13:34–35 we are commanded to “love one another as Christ loved us.” In doing so, those around us will know that we are His followers. In his first of three small letters John tells us why we are to love, “for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:7–8). We show love by allowing God’s love to flow through our lives and into the lives of those around us.

Loving others is not always easy and entails multiple actions on our part. For example, to love we must show empathy as well as sympathy to others. We need to learn to see each other as broken vessels in need of God’s love and transformation. This unique perspective of other people requires humility on our part. When we recognize our own failings, that we are not perfect, only then will we begin to approach others with a caring and compassionate attitude. Part of this humility comes in recognizing what God has done for us in Jesus.

We are all in need of the redemption God offers in Christ, no one is exempt. Our love for others is founded on God’s love as demonstrated in that he entered into this world in the form of humanity and died on a cross for us. This is the true story of Christmas.

The second theme we encounter is Joy. Have you ever been around an individual, especially a believer, who is always depressed or sad? I’m not talking about someone who has experienced a recent tragedy or received bad news, but someone who consistently demonstrates a life devoid of joy. As followers of Christ, joy should characterize our lives. In his letter to the church at Rome Paul writes, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” (Romans 15:13 ESV). Here we find three of the themes of Advent mentioned together. In fact, as followers of Jesus we are called to “rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4). Several times in his letter to the Philippian believers Paul mentions rejoicing, and does so from a jail cell.

In Luke 2 we read how the angels expressed joy at the birth of Jesus, and so should we. Our love for others and the witness of a joyous Spirit testified to God’s work of salvation in our lives. Therefore, during this busy Christmas season, let’s remember and reflect on what God has done in the birth of Jesus—how that birth would bring hope to the world through the forgiveness of sins and the promise of everlasting life.” David Frees
Senior Director of Digital Asset Management & Online Learning

Sincere love is when you love others with a pure heart, as God does. We are accepting of God’s love for ourselves as well. We will no longer be controlled by our experiences of being hurt, rejected, abused, hatefully treated by others, or negative self-talk.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV

Love is patient; love is kind. It does not envy; it does not boast; it is not proud. It does not dishonor others; it is not self-seeking; it is not easily angered; it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hope, and always perseveres. Love never fails.

Can we bring back love to our lives? The evil of the world cannot be accepted.

When facing each day filled with many arrows of fear, negativity, anger, and hatred, it is easy to miss those full of love, positivity, hope, encouragement, and joy.

As you step out of bed, you have a critical source of love that is a constant source of love, who will always protect, forgive and bring hope is the best way to fight the arrows that fire in your direction. The shied of courage full of love is the best protection you will find for fighting the sources trying to push you down.


Begin each day with a recharge of courage in knowing you are never alone. Take each step with confidence. Surround yourself with others who believe as you do. Know each day will get better as we take action steps to be the solution daily in our modeling, in our positive words, in those we choose to lead, and in all of the areas we help support.

Show the world how to dance in a world that has forgotten the song's rhythm we should be dancing to and singing. We all need to love our country, neighbors, and ourselves.

To be loved, feel loved, and understand love, love must be given to the self. Loving yourself provides self-confidence and self-worth. A feeling of positivity, happiness, and overall wellness happens when individuals embrace the love of self.

When individuals accept their emotions for what they are, it motivates them to make healthy choices in life. When self is held in high esteem, you're more likely to choose things that nurture your well-being and serve you well.

Confidence comes from within, and this is discovered when you genuinely love yourself. No one can make you feel good or happy as you can. When you have confidence, there is less pressure to do things just to be liked or to please others, and caring less about the opinions of others gives freedom to be authentic and genuine and to walk the journey designed by self.

"I only have 2 rules!"
© 2024 Brenda Yoho
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